NASA researchers will conduct experiments later this year on two near-weightless flights operated by the Zero Gravity (Zero-G) Corporation of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Under a contract NASA signed with Zero-G, the company will supply two demonstration flights. The flights will allow NASA to evaluate the ability of this new commercial provider to augment the agency's parabolic research flight services.

Zero-G will conduct the flights with NASA researchers in mid-September. Much like NASA's own specially-equipped microgravity research airplane, the Zero-G aircraft will fly a series of parabolas to simulate weightless or reduced-gravity conditions for the passengers and payloads. NASA retired its own "Weightless Wonder" KC-135 research aircraft in October 2004. The agency will begin operating a new research jet aircraft, a C-9 acquired from the U.S. Navy, later this year.

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